Dangerous dogs; restructures procedure for adjudication, penalty. (SB1135)

Introduced By

Sen. Dave Marsden (D-Burke) with support from co-patron Del. Kaye Kory (D-Falls Church)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


Dangerous dogs; procedure for adjudication; penalty. Restructures the procedure for adjudication of a dog as a dangerous dog to provide for (i) written notice by an animal control officer to the owner of the dog that he has applied for a summons, and a prohibition on disposal of the dog by the owner for 30 days; (ii) the issuance of a summons with an option rather than a requirement that the officer confine the dog, a prohibition on the disposal of the dog other than by euthanasia, and an authorization for the court to compel the implanting of electronic identification; (iii) the holding of a hearing within 30 days unless good cause is shown; (iv) the authority of the court if deferring further proceedings without adjudicating to compel the implanting of electronic identification; and (v) a limit of 30 days for any appeal of a dangerous dog adjudication. The bill authorizes an officer to obtain a summons for a hearing to determine whether a dog that has been surrendered is a dangerous dog and provides that any dangerous dog not reclaimed from the animal control officer within 10 days of notice shall be considered abandoned. The bill imposes new requirements for the transfer of dangerous dogs, requiring a releasing agency that is transferring or releasing for adoption a dangerous dog in the Commonwealth to notify the receiving party of the legal requirements for keeping a dangerous dog. If the agency is transferring the dog outside the Commonwealth, it is required to notify the appropriate animal control officer of the dog's adjudication as dangerous. An owner who is bringing a dog found to be dangerous in another state to reside in the Commonwealth shall notify the local animal control officer. Any owner who disposes of a dangerous dog by gift, sale, transfer, trade, or surrender shall notify the receiver in writing of the dog's adjudication as dangerous, with a violation penalized as a Class 3 misdemeanor. Finally, the bill provides that if a dangerous dog adjudication occurred within 60 days of the end of the calendar year, the first renewal of the dangerous dog registration shall be included in the initial registration at no additional charge. The bill contains technical amendments. Read the Bill »


01/26/2021: passed committee


01/01/2021Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/13/21 21100694D
01/01/2021Referred to Committee on Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources
01/05/2021Impact statement from VCSC (SB1135)
01/18/2021Assigned ACNR sub: Companion Animals
01/19/2021Impact statement from DPB (SB1135)
01/21/2021Assigned ACNR sub: Companion Animals
01/25/2021Senate subcommittee amendments and substitutes offered
01/26/2021Senate committee, floor amendments and substitutes offered
01/26/2021Reported from Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources with substitite (13-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
01/26/2021Committee substitute printed 21103739D-S1
01/27/2021Impact statement from VCSC (SB1135S1)

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